Polish farmers will intensify their protests on the border with Ukraine today, blocking almost all traffic in a bid they say to save their livelihoods, although Kiev says the protests are hurting its war effort.

Farmers across Europe are complaining about the restrictions imposed on them by the EU, in the effort to deal with climate change, but also about the rising costs they face as well as the competition from foreign products, mainly Ukrainian.

“There will be a complete blockade of traffic at the border crossings,” said Adrian Warzyniak, a spokesman for the Polish farmers’ union Solidarity.

Warzyniak pointed out that although military aid will be allowed to pass through, the blockade will not only apply to trucks but also to passenger vehicles. He also added that there will be blockades in ports and highways.

Kiev says its agricultural exports through eastern Europe have not hurt European markets. As anger grows over farmers’ and truck drivers’ protests in Poland, Ukrainian truck drivers have signaled they are planning a 24-hour peaceful protest at three passes that have already been closed by Polish farmers.

Speaking to the Ukrinform agency, their representative said that they will control traffic at the crossings by preventing Polish trucks from bypassing the queue. Their protest is set to last until March 15.

Kiev complains that these blockades affect its ability to defend itself against Russia and serve Moscow.

Yesterday Monday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the border situation demonstrates “the erosion of solidarity on a daily basis”.

He added that only 5% of Ukrainian agricultural exports cross the border with Poland, commenting that “it’s actually not a question of grain, but mainly of politics.”

“We need joint decisions, rational decisions to resolve the situation. The decisions that we and the Poles make, first of all, and everyone in Europe who is interested in the fate of Europe,” Zelensky stressed.

This dispute has caused tension in the relations between Kiev and Warsaw, which since the beginning of the war has been one of the most ardent supporters of Ukraine.

After the Russian invasion Ukrainian companies managed to continue their exports through Poland. But this has angered Polish farmers and transport companies, who complain about Ukrainian prices they cannot compete with.